2018 Accomplishments

Mission

The mission of the Ardmore Chamber is to promote economic vitality and quality of life for Southern Oklahoma.

Education Improvement & Workforce Development

The Chamber will champion the cause of education in order to develop the most efficient and productive method for delivery of quality education and workforce development services that span cradle to career.

  • Provided programming to enhance student experiences in K-12 such as the MEE Competition
  • Provided opportunities at different grade levels for career exploration opportunities
  • In conjunction with local business and industry as well as Southern Tech to introduce Career Readiness Activities
  • Coordinated with Southern Tech for introduction of Industrial/Career Certifications
  • Coordinated College Nights; FASFA Workshops and Chickasaw Career Exploration and Speakers
  • Provided support for the continued development of the Southern Oklahoma University Center Campus, including facilitating continued support for the Nursing and health related programs, as well as the promotion and distribution of the UCSO Community Needs Assessment
  • Participated in the “reach Higher – Direct Complete” program of the Regents for Higher Education
  • Support for development of rigorous academic standards to ensure that all students are career ready, including active involvement with US Chamber Foundation
  • Participated in the Association of Chamber of Commerce Executives Education and Workforce National Fellowship Committee
  • Attended by invitation, and participated in the US Chamber Foundation’s Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) final implementation conference to ensure that the business community is involved in the development of rigorous programs designed to meet the needs of 21st Century employers
  • Provided support to the ADA during the coordination for the Regional Labor Study, as well as implementation of strategic initiatives
  • Provided funding to hire a Program Manager for the Ardmore Young Professionals organization
  • Continued support of the Ardmore Business Roundtable
  • Participated in efforts to recruit quality school board members for area schools
  • Hosted the Annual Teacher Appreciation Reception, attended by over 400 area educators
  • Served on the State Chamber of Oklahoma’s Education and Workforce Committee 

Community Development / Quality of Life

The Chamber will be the catalyst for coordinating and initiating activities to improve the community and the quality of life in the Ardmore area.

  • Assisted the ADA with the creation of a strategy for talent recruitment and retention
  • Implementation of the Bridges Out of Poverty Program began in first quarter with facility secured in the third quarter and programming to begin in the Spring of 2019
  • Active involvement with Main Street’s Economic Restructuring Committee, including participation in the Downtown Market Analysis
  • Support for the streetscape project in Historic Downtown Ardmore
  • Participated and promoted the development of the new Comprehensive Development Plan (as a Committee Member) for the City of Ardmore
  • Committed financial resources for the development of Depot Park
  • Provided additional promotional opportunities for member businesses impacted with Main Street redevelopment
  • Purchased “sandwich boards” for use by chamber members at no cost
  • Aided individuals/companies interested in new or expanded retail opportunities in the community
  • Provided support for the continued development of the Create Ardmore Program
  • Coordinated Leadership Ardmore programs for both youth and adults with an emphasis on revising curriculum to include the engagement and empowerment of all segments of the community, including encouragement for participation in area boards
  • Provided administrative support for the Ardmore Young Professionals Program, including employment of Program Manager
  • The support of efforts to promote local merchants and restaurants such as shop local initiatives, “No Cook Thursdays”, Small Business Saturday, Dash for Santa Cash and more
  • Successful coordination of the Festival of Lights in 2018.  The activities included the solicitation of display sponsorships through the TRC Campaign, conducting the FOL Auction and coordination of volunteers for the Festival of Lights Drive Thru Display at Regional Park. The 2018 efforts matched previous years in monies raised for display sponsorships, FOL Auction and donations
  • Coordinated support for programs aimed at improving the health of area citizens such as “Fitness Challenges”, TSET Programming, Regional Food Bank, support of Health Department and sponsorship and promotion of the Corporate Fitness Challenge as well as activities to support the Behavioral Health Initiative and activities with the Ardmore Institute of Health.  Introduced the Community Garden effort by chamber members
  • Promoted the Certified Healthy Business designation for Chamber Members and received recognition as Certified Healthy Business 2018 

Economic Development / Improving The Business Climate

The Chamber will spearhead efforts to maintain a viable economy by improving the business climate, expanding the business base and assisting local businesses. 

  • The Chamber was involved in workforce development, coordinating activities with the ADA to encourage K-12 interaction, focus on skills certification and retention of labor force
  • Began implementation of strategic initiatives from Site Selection
    Study including “trailing spouse” programming, Young Professionals, etc…
  • Provided management services to the Ardmore Development Authority including improved reporting and coordination of activities
  • Partnered with the City of Ardmore to recruit and support business and industry
  • Hosted the State Chamber Regional Meeting on OK 2030
  • Participated in workforce initiatives including the Governor’s Workforce meetings; interaction with Southeast Oklahoma Workforce Board, served on the State Chamber of Oklahoma Workforce Committee
  • Assisted with the coordination of the Lt. Governor’s Turkey Hunt
  • Provided the coordination for the largest Manufacturing Dinner in October
  • Provided networking opportunity for introduction of Langston Nursing Program
  • Conducted the Annual Ardmore Community Forum to update members on city projects and priorities as well as an opportunity to meet with city departments
  • Coordinated efforts to local and establish incubator and co-working space downtown
  • Promoted “Shop Local” activities such as the “Sales Tax Holiday” in August encouraging residents to shop locally, Small Business Saturday and the Christmas Retail Promotion
  • Hosted meetings with State and Federal Officials and legislators to educate them on Ardmore area needs and to promote a pro-business climate
  • The Ardmore Business Roundtable continued its programming for area CEOs
  • Served on the Oklahoma Business Roundtable Board of Directors
  • Served on the State Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors
  • Elected to the Governor’s Economic Development Marketing Team 

Government Affairs

The Chamber will promote a sound business climate and represent the interests of sound policy that allows businesses to compete globally, to hire more workers, and expand in southern Oklahoma.

  • The Chamber actively participated in the State Chamber’s Chamber Action Network.  This program provided accurate information for our members and allowed engagement with local legislators on bill that were important to our area business and industry.
  • The Chamber held an Annual Ardmore Day at the Capitol. 
  • The Chamber held bi-weekly luncheons during the session to provide information for members and access to elected officials.
  • The Chamber organized and facilitated forums focused on the June Primary as well as the two forums prior to the November General Election, one for candidates and another focused on the state questions.
  • The Chamber took an active role in the support of the OK 2030 and opposition to several State Questions that could negatively impact local business and industry.
  • The Chamber hosted small group meetings between organization leadership and elected officials to discuss issues.
  • The Chamber conducted the Annual Community Forum in July.
  • The Chamber was involved with recruitment of qualified candidates for both school board and commission candidates.
  • Participated in Oklahoma Academy Town Hall on Tax Reform.
  • Participated in the State Chamber’s “Boot Camp” for new legislators.
  • Member of the State Chamber Board of Directors.
  • Appointed to the Task Force on Economic Growth. 

Membership Services

The Chamber will deliver programs and provide activities that will increase Chamber membership and add measurable value to Chamber membership investments.

  • Conducted a successful TRC Campaign, exceeding goals.
  • Continue to enhance member interaction through new database.
  • The Chamber introduced two new health insurance options to members in conjunction with the State Chamber and the Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce.
  • Chamber providing increased exposure to chamber member businesses impacted by streetscape project.
  • The Chamber significantly improved digital presence.
  • Website redesign for better interaction and experience underway with completion in first quarter 2019.
  • Coordinated quarterly “Chamber 101” orientation sessions for both new and existing members.
  • Support of the Southern Oklahoma Leaders Luncheons to provide valuable information to our chamber members
  • The Chamber developed and began implementation of program for member retention, recognition and improvement of communications with all members.
  • Continued promotion and coordination of health initiatives including involvement in the new Behavioral Health Initiative.
  • Promotion of the “Tax Free Holiday” and Small Business Saturday.
  • Sponsored the “Dash for Santa Cash” Christmas Retail Promotion.
  • Supported enhancements to Business After Hours and the quarterly Business Before Hours networking events.
  • The Chamber introduced new initiatives via social media to spotlight area restaurants, retail and car dealers.
  • Continued enhancement of all non-dues activities to ensure they meet the goals of both the chamber and our members.
  • Host the monthly Tax Information Seminars and coordinate with the OSBDC to assist new/small businesses in the community. 

Organizational Affairs

The Chamber will evaluate the financial operations and organizational structure to improve the delivery of services and efficiency. The Chamber will effectively utilize resources to advance the interest of the organization.

  • Provided management services to the Chamber Foundation, Inc., ADA and ATA.
  • Continued to improve the processes for IT, Human Resources and Payroll.
  • Provided programs to various civic and community organizations.
  • Redesign of website initiated.
  • Increased digital presence.
  • Provided regular articles to the newspaper to inform members and the public of pertinent issues and special events.
  • Provided all new members with free advertisement in Ardmoreite and radio.
  • Coordinated the Leadership Greater Ardmore and Youth Leadership Programs with record numbers of applicants.
  • Completed a successful Total Resource Campaign exceeding goal.